Learning Abroad Center

Research/Fieldwork Abroad for CBS Students

College of Biological Sciences Recommendations

Advising

  • Tell your academic advisor that you are interested in study abroad at each registration appointment. Together, identify the best terms to go abroad, based on the courses in your four-year-plan.
  • Schedule a program selection advising (PSA) appointment by contacting the Learning Abroad Center at 612.626.9000 or visiting us in 230 Heller Hall (map) to schedule an advising appointment with a program selection adviser.

Academic Planning

  • As soon as you have chosen a study abroad program, use an Academic Planning for Study Abroad (APSA) Form to facilitate further discussions with your CBS adviser to discuss what courses you should enroll in abroad to determine course equivalencies and approvals.
  • Search the U Credit Abroad database to select from more than 2,000 study abroad courses that have already been pre-approved for liberal education requirements. You may also submit any liberal education course not yet evaluated for approval online.

Program Types

Fieldwork, Directed Research, or Internships

Study abroad opportunities are not limited to formal instruction. Consider taking advantage of the unique research, internship, and fieldwork opportunities available in different regions of the world. Consult with your CBS adviser about how to gain credit for these experiences.

Comprehensive University Study

Many CBS students look at comprehensive university study abroad programs or “Uni Study in” programs where they will have access to biology and science coursework in English.

CBS Instructor Led Programs

To help ensure access to international experiences, CBS offers faculty lead seminars abroad during breaks in our regular semester schedule—Winter Break, Spring Break, and May Session. Students can experience the world without necessarily being gone for an entire semester.

Financing Learning Abroad

Many abroad opportunities cost, on average, the same as what you will pay for a semester at the University of Minnesota. Do not let the fear that you cannot afford to study abroad keep you from exploring it as an educational opportunity. Learn more about how to finance your experience abroad by checking out these helpful resources.

Study Abroad Scholarships

Programs

Africa and the Middle East

Ghana

University of Ghana (available through ISEP Ghana)

  • Comprehensive university with 30,000 students on the outskirts of the capital, Accra. Legon is a town of 250,000+ residents 
  • ISEP students can also take advantage of local language classes, volunteering, independent study & research opportunities as well as excursions planned for ISEP students.
  • The University of Ghana has a School of Biological Sciences which offers coursework in Biology, Biochemistry, Cell & Molecular Biology and Plant & Environmental Biology
  • Instruction is in English; no prior study of an African language is required. 
  • Terms available: Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year

Kenya

The School for Field Studies Kenya

  • Explore the interconnectivity between wildlife, human communities, and natural resource availability in Kenya, and competition for the region’s finite natural resources is intensified by climate change, drought, ecosystem fragmentation, and human development.
  • Courses and fieldwork focus on key environmental issues faced here such as climate change, biodiversity conservation, wildlife and natural resource management, and tourism impacts.
  •  All courses taught in English. No language prerequisite. One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science required for semester program. Semester and summer options available.

Senegal

MSID—International Development in Senegal

  • Study international development in Senegal, a fascinating French-speaking country seen as a bridge between Africa and the West. Contribute through an internship or research project with a nonprofit organization. Based in Dakar with internship options outside the city.
  • Choose the Health or Sustainability theme for your internship or research.
  • Minimum 4-semesters of college-level French required. Fall or Spring semester.
  • Research track is eligible for the I-UROP Scholarship.

Tanzania

The School for Field Studies Tanzania

  • Concentrate on understanding the impacts of climate change, habitat fragmentation, and competition for resources and promotes successful coexistence between humans and the country’s incredible wildlife.
  • Courses and fieldwork focus on key environmental issues faced here such as biodiversity conservation, wildlife management, human-wildlife conflict, tourism impacts, and climate change. 
  • All courses taught in English. No language prerequisite. One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science required for semester program. Semester and summer options available.

Americas

Chile

Natural History of Patagonia, Chile

  • 2022-23 Winter Break in the Patagonia region of Chile; open to all students.
  • Experience the wildlife and mountains of beautiful and highly biodiverse Patagonia; co-create a community mural.
  • Engage in discussions that include the biophysical science of ecosystems and the human resource science of decisions.
  • This program is led by Jim Perry, Professor in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology.
  • Approved for The Environment and Global Perspectives Liberal Education Themes.

Costa Rica

The School for Field Studies—Costa Rica

  • Study tropical ecology, economics, and develop a deeper understanding of the issues and challenges related to natural resource management. Deepen and develop solid investigative research skills in this field-based program.
  • Work with Costa Rican park rangers, farmers, and top environmental officials to better understand the challenges of maintaining the biodiversity of the country.
  • All courses taught in English. No language prerequisite. One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science required for semester program. Semester and summer options available.

Ecuador

IES Galápagos Islands

  • Spend time in both Quito and San Cristóbal in the Galapagos — one of the world’s most beautiful and biologically diverse island locations.
  • Gain hands-on experience studying topics such as Biology, Ecology, Environmental Studies, Marine Ecology, and Sociology.
  • Courses are offered in modules, allowing students to focus on one course at a time. Students often spend the morning collecting samples and the afternoon analyzing the data as part of the course they take.
  • All courses are taught in English, with the exception of a 1-credit required Spanish language course. Semester terms available.

MSID—International Development in Ecuador

  • Live, study, and intern among the Andes mountains in the colonial city of Quito, Ecuador. Experiential learning is the core of our MSID programs where homestays and internships/research further enrich cultural immersion. Based in Quito, but with internship options outside the city.
  • Choose the Health or Sustainability theme for your internship or research.
  • Minimum 4-semesters of college-level Spanish required. Fall or Spring semester.
  • Research track is eligible for the I-UROP Scholarship.

Panama

The School for Field Studies—Panama

  • Gain an understanding of both the conflicts and synergies of conservation and development in beautiful islands of the Bocas del Toro region in Panama.
  • SFS programs focus on critical environmental issues through a combination of coursework, field study and a directed research project.
  • All courses are taught in English; semester and summer terms available.

Turks and Caicos

The School for Field Studies—Turks & Caicos

  • Participate in field research techniques that will impact South Caicos' resource management and habitat conservation. Take a hands-on approach to learning about marine ecology and coastal ecosystems.
  • All courses taught in English. No language prerequisite. One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science required for semester program.
  • Semester and summer options available.

Asia and Oceania

Australia

The School for Field Studies Australia

  • SFS programs focus on critical environmental issues through a combination of coursework, field study, and a directed research project.
  • Study and work hands-on in rainforest management and restoration in Australia's tropical rainforest.
  • All courses taught in English. No language prerequisite. One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science required for semester program.
  • Semester and summer options available.

James Cook University (available through IFSA Australia) 

  • James Cook University’s location in tropical northern Queensland offers proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, rainforest, and the outback.
  • You can apply to work on one of the dozens of ongoing biology research projects for credit.
  • Semester, academic year, and calendar year terms available.

University of Melbourne (available through IFSA Australia)

  • One of Australia’s most prestigious universities, located in the cultural capital of the country.
  • You can supplement your upper division biology coursework with a faculty-supervised, credit-bearing research project in a variety of topics from biomedical science to land environment.
  • Semester, academic year and calendar terms available.

University Study in Australia: University of Sydney

  • Study at the University of Sydney—one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious universities. Modern laboratories and internship opportunities available.
  • As one of Australia’s largest research universities, you can pursue a research project or other field-based learning opportunities in biology and environmental sciences.
  • Semester, academic year, calendar year and summer terms available.
  • Program is eligible for the I-UROP Scholarship.

Bhutan

The School for Field Studies— Bhutan

  • Conduct research while trekking through the eastern Himalayas while learning about Bhutanese culture, Buddhism, and the diverse Himalayan ecosystem.
  • Take a hands-on approach to forest biodiversity, conservation, and sustainable development.
  • All courses taught in English. No language prerequisite. One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science required for semester program.
  • Semester and summer options available

Cambodia

The School for Field Studies—Cambodia

  • Study the environmental dynamics of the Mekong River, which provides habitats to myriad species and sustains life for millions of people.
  • Examine the interaction between human life and the ecology of the river and region. In addition, students explore a variety of regional development and conservation challenges and community-based solutions during travel across rural and urban Cambodia.
  • All courses taught in English. No language prerequisite. One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science required for semester program.
  • Semester and summer options available.

Thailand

MSID—International Development in Thailand

  • Live, study, and intern at the rolling foothills of the Himalayan mountains in Thailand. Experiential learning is the core of MSID programs where homestays and internships/research further enrich cultural immersion. Based in Chiang Mai, with internship options outside the city.
  • Choose the Health or Sustainability theme for your internship or research.
  • Instruction is in English; no language prerequisite. Fall or Spring semester. 
  • Research track is eligible for the I-UROP Scholarship

Europe

Denmark

Study Abroad in Denmark and Summer in Denmark & Sweden

  • Take courses in a wide variety of disciplines with Copenhagen as your classroom. Participate in coursework, field study, and study tours taught in English.
  • With several lab-based and practicum-based course options, you can pursue research in biomedicine, neuroscience, and public health.
  • No language prerequisite; semester, academic year, and summer options available.
  • Program is eligible for the I-UROP Scholarship.

Ireland

Innovation & Imagination in Ireland

  • Student year:  UofMN Freshmen
  • Instructor:  John Ward, a professor within the College of Biological Sciences, and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education. He taught this course previously in 2017 and 2018, and Freshman Seminars Abroad in Iceland in 2019 and 2020.
  • Term:  On-campus Spring Semester 2023 course meets: Wednesdays on East Bank. Abroad term: Spring Break 2023
  • Receive Credit for: BIOL 1904
  • Liberal Education Fulfillment: Global Perspectives
  • Understanding historical innovation is an important lens through which to examine current innovation and society’s changes over time. Learn about innovation in a broad context and connect and apply these concepts to the rich Irish history of innovation across disciplines, including art, science, and technology. 
  • Potential excursions may include: walking tour focusing on inventions and innovations, neolithic chambers of Newgrange and Trim Castle.

Study Abroad in Dublin—University College Dublin (Science & Engineering track)

  • Live and study in the heart of Dublin. Participate in an internship, research project, or practicum to engage with the local community.
  • Students participating on the University College Dublin track can enroll in a research module and participate in lab research at UCD. Subjects include biological sciences, neuroscience, and environmental science.
  • Semester terms available.
  • Program is eligible for the I-UROP Scholarship.

Spain

Psychology and Research in Madrid

  • Study psychology and engage in research in Madrid—the charming capital of Spain.
  • Enroll in Introduction to Biological Psychology, Human Neuroanatomy, and Research Laboratory in Psychology. You can pursue research opportunities in biology and neuroscience.
  • No language prerequisite; semester and summer terms available.

Sweden

    Study Abroad in Sweden and Summer in Denmark & Sweden

    • Study in Stockholm, founded more than 700 years ago, combines the old-world charm with the vibrant life of a modern European capital.
    • With several lab-based and practicum-based course options, you can pursue research in biomedicine, neuroscience, and public health.
    • No language prerequisite; semester, academic year, and summer terms available.

    Beyond the Nobel Prize:  Innovation in Sweden

    • May Term 2923 in Stockholm, Sweden; open to all students
    • Students will examine innovation across a variety of disciplines and consider how solutions to problems facing society require creativity, collaboration, and new ways of thinking. In particular, we will explore how organizational, political, cultural, and social environments can foster innovation, using the Swedish context. Since Sweden is the site of the Nobel Prizes in various science disciplines, we’ll specifically consider innovation in science.
    • This program is led by Nikki Letawsky Shultz, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and International Programs, College of Biological Sciences.
    • Approved for the Global Perspectives liberal education theme, as well as Biology majors as a “science in context” major elective and “other electives option” for Cellular and Organismal Physiology majors.

    United Kingdom

    University Study in the UK: Glasgow University

    • Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow consistently ranks as one of the UK's most highly-rated schools.
    • You can explore options through the biology and earth science departments. You can take anatomy during the semester or stand alone during the summer to fulfill pre-health requirements.
    • Option to study at the Dumfries campus in southern Scotland. Courses available in environmental science and health science.
    • Semester and academic year terms available; summer option available through the Summer in Scotland program.

    Additional Options to Consider

    LAC Global Seminars

    • 3-week, 3-credit programs at the 3000-level led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff over winter break or May session.
    • Explore an exciting location and topic, Fulfill Liberal Education requirements, or earn major/minor credit.

    LAC Freshman Seminars

    • Combine on-campus instruction during the spring semester with a study abroad component during spring break, on a 3 credits, 1xxx level Seminar.
    • Freshman Seminars Abroad are designed specifically for first-year students as an introduction to study abroad, an opportunity to explore an exciting location and topic, and likely fulfill a liberal education requirement.

    Additional LAC Seminars

    • Check out additional LAC Instructor-led Seminars that might run over winter break, spring break, May, and summer sessions. They vary in length, dates, and content so students can find one that best fits their academic and professional goals.

    Intensive Language Programs

    • Begin your language study or work toward completing requirements for a language minor.
    • Complete a semester of language on a short-term program or explore options to complete two or more semesters of language on semester-long program.